Spicers Hidden Vale has reopened its homestead, two years after a devastating fire destroyed the 99-year-old building on the Grandchester retreat.
The award-winning Homage restaurant has returned to the homestead. It’s remained open since the 2018 fire, but has operated out of a century-old barn during the homestead’s construction.
The restaurant, which won two Chef Hats in the 2020 Australian Good Food Guide Awards, will be offering several new ‘paddock to plate’ dishes featuring local produce.
Head Chef Ash Martin said the menu would be based around the kitchen’s charcoal and fire pit, with as many ingredients as possible grown on the property.
Some of the new seasonal dishes include Beef fat crumpet with caramelized honey from Homage’s own bee hives, pickled scallions and wood roasted marrow and Red Claw yabbies with smoked yolk and orchard citrus, using locally farmed yabbies, oranges and limes from the market garden, and eggs from Hidden Vale’s own heritage breed hens.
General Manager Tom Simpson said the opening of the homestead represented a new era for Spicers Hidden Vale, while also paying tribute to the property’s history.
“This building presents sophistication and Spicers relaxed luxury,” Mr Simpson said.
“By keeping the finishes minimal we have created a contemporary take on a traditional building, and with high ceilings and an abundance of natural light, the views from the Homestead stretch over the beautiful valley below.
“We want our guests and locals to feel at home and relaxed, and know many happy memories will be created within this new building.”
Other features of the homestead include a Spotted Gum bar, several dining rooms with adjoining verandas and a private dining room.
The restaurant also plans to expand its wine list to fill the new cellar, which holds 3,000 bottles.
The history of
1841 – The area is first settled and is part of historic Franklyn Vale.
1871 – The land is taken up by John Jost who uses it for breeding cattle, sheep and race horses.
1900 – The property is sold to Alfred Cotton, who changes the name to Hidden Vale and establishes a short-horn bull breeding stud.
1908 – A two-storey homestead is built on the property
1919 – The homestead burns down in a devastating fire
1929 – The Cotton family sells the property to the Day family, who change its name to Sutton Royal
1938 – The property is sold to Murdo MacKenzie and family, who rebuilds the homestead into a single storey 190-foot long dwelling. Mrs Leila MacKenzie is umimpressed with the changes, so has the structure demolished and rebuilt, with verandas on all side.
2018 – A fire destroys the homestead for a second time, starting in the roof during a wedding ceremony.
2020 – The rebuilt homestead and restaurant reopens at Spicers Hidden Vale.
Hidden Vale circa 1900. Image courtesy of espace.library.uq.edu.au and Matthew Fox.